Studio Name: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Disc/Transfer Information: Widescreen 2.40:1
Tested Audio Track: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Joel Bergvall
Starring Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lee Pace
FEAR NEVER DIES.
Here we are again. The people behind The Grudge and The Ring decide to delve into the possibility of what happens if souls were to trade places. Although sharing the title of a handful of other thrillers throughout the years, Possession misleadingly suggests to viewers that this is a demonically themed project. The formula, as you watch the film, smacks of a handful of these modern horror/thriller types, from the aforementioned “mod classics” to others not so well known on the scene including The Box and The Eye. When I say “smacks of,” what I mean is, the pacing, lighting, characterizations…they’re all caricatures of one another. Here, an older but still, as us guys would say amongst each other, “F-Able” Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a bit of a snooty sexy wife, living in a bad domestic situation as her husband has taken in his troubled brother. There’s something disturbingly off about Gellar’s tendency to pinch the brother’s ass “by accident” and listen to his sultry whispers about how they “feel” about one another – you can tell something is going on here.
But little brother has a bunch of bad medicine in his closet; he’s restricted to stay in the state and under Gellar’s husband’s roof…that is, until he races off one night into the San Francisco fog and darkness in his souped-up muscle car. Ironically, as he attempts to find him, Gellar’s husband collides with his brother right on the Golden Gate Bridge along with a gaggle of other motorists, and the mystery begins.
Back at the hospital, the husband and brother are on life support, and the doctors tell Gellar her husband’s future does not look bright. Suddenly, the brother awakens from his coma, and completely turns around in terms of recovery, but what’s frightening about him now is that he has taken on his own brother’s – Gellar’s husband’s – personality. In taking a page from the Ghost book, the brother tells Gellar things about their relationship that only her husband would know, convincing her that perhaps this is indeed her husband come back in the body of the brother. What’s most disturbing about the narrative, though, in Possession is how Gellar’s character simply gives in to the temptations of the husband’s brother, even though it may spiritually be the man she once loved – before you know it, they’re naked and she’s riding him like her life depended on it, and this just weeks after they were in a horrendous car crash. It almost suggests that Gellar, the slut her character seemingly is, lusted after the husband’s bad-boy brother all along. Ridiculous.
What follows is a routine of Gellar’s character attempting to reject the notion that this could be her husband, returned in spiritual form in the shell of his brother – but then falling right back into his muscular, tattooed arms out of raw sensuality and utter confusion. Could this really be hubby “possessing” the more physically able body of his brother? Is hubby truly dead? What color panties does Sarah Michelle Gellar really wear under her pant and skirt suits?
Give Possession a rent if you are aching to know the answers to any of these questions, as difficult as it may seem at times during the film to get there.
VIDEO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC LOOK?
Murky and dismal are the best ways to describe the imagery for Possession’s home video incarnation; the transfer exhibits moments of crispness and color fidelity, but the majority of the run time is bathed in a gauzy, screened-in look – obviously a stylistic choice to emulate the feel of the narrative.
For the most part, the 2.40:1 letterboxed (on a non-superwide setup) widescreen transfer was clean and free of blemishes and served the material well.
AUDIO QUALITY ANALYSIS: HOW DID THE DISC SOUND?
This was a bit of a letdown. I understand the small-budget mentality we’re dealing with here, but for a shocker that bordered on elements of the supernatural, there wasn’t much sonic activity and dialogue delivery through the center channel position was on the muffled and weak side. Aside from support for the car crash/”soul flying” sequences, there was little surround bolstering to be found for the soundtrack, and that was disappointing – all in all, I think this could have been a better effort.
Thanks for reading. If you really must, give this a rental spin, but don’t expect much. More or less, Possession falls under the “rather forgettable” entertainment file.